Updated on 09/17/2011 12:19PM

Halfbridled much the best

Email
Horsephotos
Halfbridled ($5.20) scores her first stakes win by 5 lengths in the $250,000 Del Mar Debutante.

DEL MAR, Calif. - Halfbridled scored her first stakes win in Saturday's $250,000 , displaying the versatility of an older filly or mare not a 2-year-old making her second start.

Halfbridled ($5.20) finished seven furlongs in 1:22.20, winning by five lengths over Hollywood Story, a maiden. Victory U.S.A., the 3-5 favorite, never reached the lead as expected and finished third in the field of six, missing second by a nose.

But the style of Halfbridled's victory left trainer Richard Mandella and jockey Julie Krone anxious for the Grade 1 Oak Leaf Stakes on Sept. 28 at Santa Anita and the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies on Oct. 25.

Breaking from the rail, Halfbridled was always on the inside. Racing in fourth on the backststretch, Halfbridled got within a head of pacesetter Wind Flow entering the turn, dropped back a length on the turn and then engaged the leader approaching the stretch.

"It looked like it was time to go because everyone was out in the middle of the track," Krone said, describing the run on the turn.

Halfbridled was in front in early stretch and quickly pulled away.

"She has an immense stride," Krone said. "She does everything so effortlessly."

Owned by Wertheimer Farm, Halfbridled is unbeaten in two starts, having won a maiden race on July 27.

"I figured we'd have to improve, but I knew she would do more," Mandella said. "I've always through that a mile or farther would be better. She's been a star and she hasn't let us down yet."